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Griffith M. Jones

Date of Death: November 27, 2020

Date of Birth: July 13, 1930

Biography:

Griffith M. Jones Jr died peacefully at home in Bath November 27th after a period of declining health.


Griff was born in 1930 in Manhattan, the 3rd of 4 children of Griffith M Jones and Dorathea Jones (nee Fullagher).  Soon after his birth, the Jones family moved to Stamford, CT, which, with the exception of a few years on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, would be the family home base from then on.   Griff played football at Stamford high school.

After high school he joined the Navy.  In a spur-of-the-moment bid to avoid an unpleasant work assignment, he took the officer candidate examination and ended up being appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis where he also played football until sidelined by a knee injury.
He served in the Korean conflict in a Bath-built ship, USS Ernest G Small and narrowly avoided being blown-up when the vessel struck a mine during the naval bombardment of Hungnam.  

Naval politics and bureaucracy didn't suit Griff and he returned to civilian life in Connecticut, earning a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1956.   At UConn, Griff was active in Theta Xi fraternity and remained in touch with several of his fraternity brothers for the rest of their lives.


After UConn, Griff settled in the Boston area where he worked as an Engineer at MIT Lincoln Labs, working on the cold war SAGE air defense system, taking graduate courses in his spare time.  He described this as one of the best times of his working career.  Over time, he worked for a number of technology companies in the route 128 corridor including Bell Labs, Signetics, and Veeder Root, first as a design engineer, and later as a sales engineer.

In the early 60's Griff met his wife, and the love of his life, Joanna Ewing.   The couple met at The Sevens pub on Beacon Hill: a place they frequented with a circle of friends that they remained close to for over 50 years.  In wooing Joanna, Griff pretended to enjoy jazz, folk music and dancing.  Joanna saw through this but managed to overlook it.   The couple married, settled in Marblehead, MA, and started a family (Not necessarily in that order). There they enjoyed skiing, sailing, and socializing at Maddie's Sail Loft.

By the early 70's Griff tired of working for others and decided to become his own boss.  After exploring several options, he started a successful NAPA auto parts store in Leominster MA.   He sold the Massachusetts store and moved to Bath in 1977, seeking a place that was closer to both the ocean and to skiing.   He started and operated Bath Auto Supply for over 30 years, stubbornly refusing to retire until he sold the business in 2007.  His grandsons fondly remember visiting the store as children: he always had hats and stickers and toy NAPA trucks for them.

After retirement, Griff returned to his lifelong love of learning, digging into economics and mathematics, taking online courses and reading extensively.  Griff became health-conscious in his later years, working out regularly at the Bath YMCA, where he made several close friends (some of whom shared his strong conservative political leanings, and some of whom just enjoyed arguing with him).  He was a strong Trump supporter, but allowed, towards the end of his life, that while Trump had good policy ideas, possibly he had some faults as well.


Griff is survived by his wife Joanna, his three sons Darrick, Channing, and Chris, his daughters in law, Melissa, Amy, and Suzanne, seven grandchildren, and his younger sister Ina.   He was predeceased by his sisters Judy and Dottie.

 

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